Government publishes IP guidance in event of no-deal Brexit

The government has today published its updated guidance on the future of intellectual property (IP) laws following the UK’s departure in March 2019 of the European Union. It says that while a scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without an agreement is “highly unlikely”, its series of technical notices will help businesses make informed plans and preparations in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The government’s recent July Whitepaper proposes that the UK should continue to participate in the unitary patent system and the Unified Patent Court that underpins it.

Guidance covers:

• trade marks and designs if there’s no Brexit deal
• patents if there’s no Brexit deal
• copyright if there’s no Brexit deal
• exhaustion of intellectual property rights if there’s no Brexit deal

The notices cover the government’s plans for continued recognition of existing rights in the UK by recreating protections in UK law. This applies both to registered and unregistered rights. They also cover wider mechanisms and arrangements relating to IP, such as cross-border copyright and exhaustion.

Businesses and other stakeholders might need to consider whether and how the changes required will affect them. More detail can be accessed here.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act, which ensures that the UK exits the EU, received Royal Assent on 26th June 2018.

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